Owning a firearm is a big responsibility, and if you don’t know the law behind protecting yourself and others, you could land yourself in some serious legal hot water. Here in Missouri, if you have the right to be in a specific location, you have the right to defend yourself or anyone else in serious danger. As a gun owner, the responsibility to know and understand the law falls on your shoulders. If you are interested in becoming a gun owner or want to learn more about how you can stay legally safe while protecting yourself and others, schedule an appointment with one of our legal experts here at The Lowry Law Firm today.
The Importance of Stand Your Ground Laws
Stand your ground laws serve a very important purpose in states that allow them. Generally, stand your ground laws give people the legal right to defend themselves and anyone else who is in mortal danger as long as they have a legal right to be in the area. We’ve all heard the old adage that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, and in many cases, that is very true. We’ve all heard the stories of mass shooters being taken down by well-trained and well-prepared good citizens. These miracles wouldn’t be possible without common sense stand your ground laws. Missouri has worked hard to preserve the rights of responsible gun owners, but to defend yourself and others without fear of repercussions, you need to know the ins and outs of the law.
The Word of The Law In Missouri
If you live in Missouri and own a firearm, essentially, you have the legal right to defend yourself and anyone else in serious danger with force as long as you have a legal right to be in that specific location. This should come as no surprise, but stand your ground laws may not apply if you are committing a crime. That means that if you are committing crime, if you use any force to defend yourself or help other people, you may not be legally protected to do so.
As of 2016, Missouri required gun owners to have a “duty to retreat” but with the passing of Senate Bill 656, law-abiding citizens now have full rights to stand their ground in the face of danger. That doesn’t mean that as a rule-following gun owner that you can brandish your weapon for petty crimes. To ensure you are justified in using deadly force, you need to reasonably believe it is necessary to protect yourself or another from death, serious physical injury, or a forcible felony. Ultimately, if you have used force to protect yourself or anyone else in danger, the responsibility then falls on the government to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you did not act in legal self-defense.
If you have been involved in an altercation where you had to stand your ground and utilize self-defense, we can help keep you safe. Contact our expert legal team today to make sure that you are fully protected and safe from any potential legal turmoil.